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Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) recorded an 18 per cent increase in the number of active registered companies operating within it, reaching 1,225 firms at the end of 2014, compared with 1,039 in 2013.
Also, the financial hub issued licences to 242 new companies in 2014, compared with 199 in 2013, representing an increase of 22 per cent. This means that on average, DIFC granted a licence to one new company every working day of the year. Only 2008 registered a higher number of new company licences.
Of the 1,225 active firms, there were 362 financial services firms, up 11 per cent from 327 last year; 682 non-financial services firms (additionally, 10 firms were provisionally approved at the end of 2014), up 21 per cent from the 565 non-financial firms last year, and 171 retailers, up 18 per cent from 145 last year.
Net additional leased commercial space increased 15 per cent, reaching 282,000 sq ft in 2014, versus 245,000 sq ft in 2013. This was one of the highest on record and represents the equivalent of leasing all of the office space available in the Gate Building.
The total workforce in the Centre rose 14 per cent during 2014 to 17,860, from 15,600 at the end of 2013. The number of net new jobs created in 2014 was 42 per cent more than in 2013.